4 common causes of car wrecks - and how to avoid them

Virginia Car Accident Lawyer - Richard SerpeEvery 60 seconds, there is a car accident somewhere in the world. In order to avoid being in one yourself, it’s important to understand how the most common types of car accidents occur and strategies you can use to help prevent them. Below is our list of the top four most common types of car wrecks. Every driver can benefit from learning about these mistakes and become more savvy on the road.

1. Rear-endings

Rear-ending occurs when a car cannot stop quickly enough to prevent slamming into the vehicle in front of them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-endings account for 29 percent of all car wrecks. The most common reason for such accidents? Distracted driving. 64 percent of drivers involved in rear-end crashes were busy with some other task – be it looking at their cell phone, adjusting their GPS or changing songs on the radio – when the accident occurred.

How do you avoid being involved in a rear-ending accident? It’s obvious: keep your eyes on the road and distractions to a minimum. Always pay attention to your surroundings and pass your phone over to your passenger if you have urgent business that needs attending to.

2. Side-impact accidents

A 2009 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that side-impact accidents accounted for 27 percent of vehicle passenger deaths in the U.S. Since vehicles have very little space between the side of the car and the passengers, side-impact accidents are especially deadly. The most common kind of side-impact accident? The t-bone, when a driver fails to give way to a car that has the right of way.

It might seem like there’s not much you can do to avoid being involved in such a crash. But there are strategies to employ to make sure you’re not at a high risk of being t-boned. Even when you have the right of way, look in every direction for potential danger. Be sure to control your speeds, too. You want to be able to stop should the light change before you enter an intersection.

3. Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is terrifying. One second, everything is running smoothly, and the next, you’ve lost control of your vehicle. Your instinct to hit the brake actually makes things worse, since a stationary tire can act more like a water ski than one that is turning.

To avoid hydroplaning, slow down on wet roads. Lower speeds make it easier for your tire to make contact with the ground. If you find yourself hydroplaning, slowly apply pressure to your brakes – never pump them. Allow your car to coast down to a lower, safer speed.

4. Animal collisions

Sometimes nature interferes with our daily lives. A fast-moving storm can cause dangerous conditions for boaters, or high winds can prevent planes from taking off. And when a deer leaps in front of your car, there’s little you can do. Right?

The key to avoiding animal collisions actually starts with prevention. Slow down when you see animal crossing signs and always use your high beams when traveling on rural roads in the dark. Doing so can prevent a collision with an animal that might be large enough to cause serious vehicle damage.

Do You Need a Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer?

The Virginia auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC has helped victims of accidents for over 33 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have legal rights. If you’d like to discuss your situation, contact us to setup a free consultation 877-544-5323.